New York State is urging people who qualify to take advantage of the Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP, to help keep their homes cool this summer.
This year $3 million is being allocated to help New Yorkers purchase air conditioners if they suffer from serious health issues that are aggravated by extreme heat. Applications are being accepted through Aug. 31.
To qualify for the assistance, applicants must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income guidelines, and have at least one member of their household that suffers from a documented medical condition that’s made worse by extreme heat.
Locally, the Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency helps those in need set up their air conditioning units for free. They said this year they’ve already had 20 appointments, which is higher than usual at this point in the season.
The Community Action Agency recommends that those who need financial assistance head down to the Department of Social Services to pick up an application.
"Honestly the people in this area, they're already stressed out and they already have a lot of financial issues, so they don't want to take on this burden that they shouldn't have to worry about,” said LaShaun Curtis, housing program manager for the Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency. “Yet they're meeting their needs, so we can help them and if they're eligible they can apply and get the assistance they need.”
To find out if you’re eligible for the free air conditioner through HEAP, you can call the Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency at 315-624-9930.
For a full list of locations where you can apply for a free air conditioner, click here.